Have you ever heard of Dropbox ? It is one of the most popular cloud storage services in the world, that is a kind of online hard disk that allows you to keep any type of file or folder on a web space and automatically synchronize it on multiple computers and devices. It is available for all major computer operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux) and mobile devices (Android and iOS / iPadOS) and has a basic version with 2GB of storage completely free.
How do you say? It all sounds very interesting to you but now would you like to understand how to use Dropbox ? Well, fear not: I can provide you with all the explanations you need. I already tell you that this is a very advanced and efficient service but at the same time extremely simple to use. So, even if you are not very familiar with new technologies, fear not, you can use them without problems.
Now, however, let’s not get lost in small talk! If you are really willing to find out how to use Dropbox, I invite you to take a few minutes of free time and concentrate on reading this tutorial. I am sure that, in the end, you will be able to tell yourself more than satisfied with what you have learned and the results obtained. Happy reading and good luck for everything!
- How to sign up for Dropbox
- How to use Dropbox on your computer
- Sharing files
- Automatic upload of photos and screenshots
- How to use Dropbox on smartphones and tablets
- How to use Dropbox on the web
- How to use Dropbox with Gmail
Let’s start with a brief overview of Dropbox’s plans, their pricing, and the amount of storage they offer.
- Dropbox Basic– 2GB, free for single user with the possibility of synchronization on up to 3 devices.
- Personal Dropbox Plus– 2TB at 11.99 euros / month for a single user without limits on the number of devices that can be synchronized.
- Dropbox Personal Family– 2TB shared up to 6 users for 19.99 euros / month without limits on the number of devices that can be synchronized.
- Dropbox Business Professional– 3TB of storage at 19.99 euros / month for a single user without limits on the number of devices that can be synchronized.
- Dropbox Business Standard– 5TB of storage at 12 euros / user / month for teams of at least 3 users without limits on the number of devices that can be synchronized.
- Dropbox Business Advanced– unlimited space at 18 euros / user / month for teams of at least 3 users without limits on the number of devices that can be synchronized.
In short, Dropbox’s Basic plan is usually able to meet the needs of the common user, the one who needs a minimum of space to store their files in the cloud and be able to access them from a computer, smartphone and tablet. The Personal plans , on the other hand, are intended for those who need a greater amount of space for storing their data, while the Business plans are specific for professionals, companies and work groups. As you can see, there is a plan for everyone. For more details, see the official Dropbox site .
Please also note that it is possible to expand the 2 GB of free space on Dropbox (up to an additional 16 GB) by registering your friends via an invitation link or by completing the operations listed on this page (e.g. sharing a folder or install the service app on your smartphone). For more details you can consult my tutorial on how to increase space on Dropbox .
How to sign up for Dropbox
If you want to find out how to use Dropbox for free , you must first sign up for the service by creating an account. To do this, connected to the official website of the service , press the Login button located at the top right and choose whether to log in with your Google or Apple account . If you are not subscribed to any of these services, you can register an account with your email address .
Therefore, click on Create an account at the top and fill out the form that is shown to you by typing, in the appropriate text fields, name and surname , your e-mail address and the password you intend to use to access your Dropbox account ( choose a secure password , please). Then check the box next to the item I accept the Dropbox conditions and click the Create an account button .
The game is done! An account verification email will be sent to you. Later, you can decide whether to use Dropbox through its desktop client, from the web or through the app for smartphones and tablets. You will find all the details on this in the following chapters.
How to use Dropbox on your computer
If you want to use Dropbox’s desktop software, available on Windows , macOS, and Linux , head to the service’s official site and click the Download Dropbox button .
Once the download is complete, double-click on the file obtained to begin the installation process. If you are using Windows , then click the Yes button in the User Account Control window and wait for all the necessary files to download and the client installation to complete. Once this is done, the installation screen will automatically close and you will be prompted to log in to Dropbox.
If you want to know how to use Dropbox on Mac , instead, double-click on the Dropbox icon that you find in the installation screen and press the Open button . At this point, wait for the client to download and install automatically. Now, in the screen that is shown to you, log in with your Dropbox account.
After logging in, then press the Next button to continue and, in the Choose how to synchronize section , press the Set files as local button , to have an offline copy of the files in the cloud on your computer, or the Set files button as online only , to access files only online without taking up space on your hard drive (the latter option is only available for subscription plans).
Now decide which folders on your computer to synchronize by placing a check mark in the box next to their name. If you want to add a new folder, click on Add folders . Then press the Configure button or, in case you do not want to synchronize the folders on your PC in any way, press the Not now button .
Mission accomplished! You have finally installed Dropbox on your computer and logged into the service with your brand new account, congratulations! To confirm this, you should see the service icon on the desktop or in the system tray, next to the clock. On Mac you will find the Dropbox icon in the top menu bar.
To add files and folders to your Dropbox, all you have to do is copy them to the service folder and wait for the upload to be completed. To check the progress of the operation, place the mouse cursor on the Dropbox icon in the Windows taskbar or in the macOS menu bar, so as to view an estimate of the time required to complete the upload in the History section synchronization .
In addition to using Dropbox to always have your files synchronized, you can also use the famous cloud storage service to publicly share a file previously uploaded to it. To use Dropbox to share files , right-click on a file in the Dropbox folder and select Copy Dropbox link from the menu that appears.
Once this is done, the link to the file will be automatically copied to the operating system’s clipboard, ready to be shared online as you see fit ( pasting it into an email message, via a messaging client, etc.). For more details you can check out my tutorial on how to share files on Dropbox .
Alternatively, right-click on the file to share and select the Share item from the menu that appears. A window will open in which you will have to enter the email address of the person with whom to share the content of the selected path. Then press the Share button to confirm everything.
Keep in mind that shared folders are ideal for group work, as everyone involved can view them and add files within them. If you want to learn more, check out my guides on how to share a folder . If, on the other hand, you want to delete a file or folder, all you have to do is select the item you want to act on and drag it to the trash. Stop!
In any case, keep in mind that, regardless of whether you have uploaded files to Dropbox that only you can access or not, all changes made to the items in the service folder, from any synchronized computer or device, will be immediately reported. on all other devices.
Automatic upload of photos and screenshots
Dropbox also includes functions for automatic uploading of screenshots taken on the computer and for photos imported from devices connected to it. To enable them, right-click on the Dropbox icon on the Windows taskbar or on the macOS menu bar and, in the screen that is shown to you, press on your account icon .
Once this is done, click on the Preferences item from the menu that is shown to you and, in the screen pane, click on the Backup tab . At this point, put a check mark on the box next to the item Share screenshots using Dropbox to activate the functionality by which to share screenshots. For automatic sharing of photos and videos, choose one of the options in the drop-down menu next to the item Enable camera uploads for . Then press the OK button to confirm.
If you are interested in excluding a path from synchronization, you can go to the client settings by selecting the appropriate item from the menu that appears by clicking on the Dropbox icon on the Windows taskbar or on the macOS menu bar. Then press the icon of your account and select the item Preferences from the menu.
In the screen that is shown to you, select the Synchronization tab and press the Selective Synchronization button . Then, remove the check mark from the folders you want to exclude from the synchronization procedure on your computer and confirm your choice.
If you see fit, you can also make sure that the bandwidth used for sharing files through Dropbox is limited. To do this, select the Band tab instead and use the appropriate commands that are shown to you to limit the download speed and / or the upload speed and to choose whether or not to keep synchronization via LAN active or not.
How to use Dropbox on smartphones and tablets
Like any self-respecting cloud storage service, Dropbox is also available in the form of an app for smartphones and tablets. If you want to download Dropbox on Android , reach this link that refers directly to the Play Store and press the Download button (you can also download it from alternative stores if your device does not have Google services).
If you want to know how to use Dropbox on iPhone , through this link you can reach the iOS / iPadOS App Store : then press the Get button and then unlock the download and installation using the Face ID, Touch ID or password of your Apple ID.
After downloading the Dropbox app, launch it, ignore the purchase of a subscription plan and press the Skip button . On the main Dropbox screen, in the Files tab , you can find all the files in the cloud. By pressing the Upload button , you can import files to your device’s memory.
By pressing the icon (…) next to a folder or file, you will be shown a menu for managing documents. To share them externally, press the Share button , while if you want to make them available also offline on the device, move the lever next to the word Make available offline to ON .
How to use Dropbox on the web
In addition to using Dropbox as I indicated in the previous lines, keep in mind that you can also take advantage of the famous service directly via a Web browser, adding and viewing your files online and sharing them with other users from any computer or device. To do this, just connect to the dropbox.com website (there is no need to install the client for this operation) and log in to your account, using the Login button at the top.
To preview a file directly from the browser window, just press on its name. To add a file instead click on the Upload button at the top, while to create a new folder click on the Create> Folder items always placed at the top. If, on the other hand, you want to delete a file or folder, select the item you want to act on, press the icon (…) and then choose the Delete item from the menu.
As for the sharing procedure, you have two ways at your disposal: create shared folders with other Dropbox users or create public links accessible by anyone.
In the first case, you have to create a new folder inside the Dropbox folder, press the icon (…) next to it and click on the Share item in the menu that appears. Then you have to fill in the form that is proposed to you with the email addresses of the people with whom you want to share the folder and click on Share folder to complete the operation.
To create links accessible to all, simply click on the chain icon next to the file or folder name. The links will be saved in the clipboard.
How to use Dropbox with Gmail
Dropbox can also be easily integrated into Gmail so you can easily import files from one service to another. To do this, you can easily use the extension to install on Gmail.
Go to the Gmail website and sign in with your Google account. Then press on the gear icon , at the top, and select the item View all settings . At this point, go to the Add-ons tab and click on the Manage item , which you find under the heading Add-ons installed .
In the screen that is shown to you, in the search box at the top, type the term “dropbox” and press the Enter key . Among the results shown on the screen, click on Dropbox for Gmail and then click on the Install button . Press the Continue button , log in with your Dropbox account and click Finish .
When you send a new message with Gmail, among the tools available, the Dropbox icon will be available that allows you to easily add any document from Dropbox. Also for the attachments you receive there is the appropriate Dropbox icon that will allow you to add them to the cloud in a single click.